Google Play Store policies drive Amazon to pull app

Back in early September, Amazon rolled-out a big update to its Android app, adding support for Prime Instant Video. But there was also another big change happening behind the scenes, as Amazon quietly rolled the functionality from its previously-separate Amazon Appstore into its primary Android app, letting you purchase and install software independently of the Play Store. Sound to you like something Google might have a strong opinion about? This week the fallout finally lands, as Amazon finds itself forced to pull its old Android app and launch a new one, one that no longer offers apps of its own.

The old Amazon app listing still exists on the Play Store, but is no longer visible in searches and isn’t available for installation on any new devices. Instead, there’s a new “Amazon Shopping” app arriving today that’s essentially the old pre-September-update Amazon app.

So what changed between then and now? Google updated the language in its developer agreement. While it previously banned apps where the primary function was to distribute software, it now prohibits apps that do that at all. That is to say, Amazon could get away with this before because of all the other functionality its app offered – the app store was only one small component. But with the new dev agreement, even that’s not allowed anymore.

Google’s within its rights to limit Amazon (and other devs) like this, and we can understand why it would want to do so. But that said, the all-in-one Amazon app sure was convenient, and we’re sad to see it go.

Source: Android Police

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!